Not being able to catch your breath is terrifying. Gasping for air, even once, seems like an eternity until you can finally take a full breath again. People around you panic, which makes you panic more, and knowing people are staring at you is embarrassing.
There is no cure for asthma, and while there are treatments that can help you control asthma, there's no way to ensure you will not have an attack.
I read on the EPA's website that every year over 3,000 people die from asthma, and while that number pales in comparison to those who die from heart disease and other cancers, there are thousands of others who are hospitalized, miss work or school and deal with asthma on a daily basis. Nationally, the reason kids miss school the most is related to asthma, and knowing how scary it is for me, I can just imagine how young kids feel.
About a year and a half ago I had an e-mail in my inbox asking for volunteers for The American Lung Association. It is an organization I tried to volunteer for before, but was unsuccessful since they don't have an office in Buffalo. When I saw the e-mail, I immediately responded back to say I'd help however I could. I met with Jaime Anderson, The Development Director, based out of Rochester, and began helping with the first "Fight For Air" Stair Climb event that was held in Buffalo last February.
When hearing about the event it initially scared the crap out of me! 40 stories, 800 steps to climb up to the top of One HSBC Center downtown...with asthma nonetheless. I jumped into training here and there and on February 12th, 2011 completed the event in 8:48 and raised $1320 for The American Lung Association. I was the top individual fundraiser and have a cool trophy at home. So many people donated to my climb, and so many people supported me as I prepared for the climb to the top. It was a pretty unforgettable day and I am so excited to take part in this year's event!
The event really gave me a sense of accomplishment AND empowerment, and I encourage everyone in Buffalo to get involved with this year's event. It will once again be held at One HSBC Center (the tallest building in Buffalo), and will be on Saturday March 10th. Registration is $25.00, and they ask all participants to raise a minimum of $100. To sign up or find out more information about the event, check out their website here:
If you are unable to participate but still want to donate, please consider donating to my personal fundraising goal of $1000 (Raising money for this event is my February goal for my "12 Missions in '12" campagin)! You can check out my personal page here: http://action.lungusa.org/site/TR/Climb/ALANY_New_York?px=4336995&pg=personal&fr_id=4790
40 stories, 800 steps...here I come!!!
Pictures from last year's event. Notice the inhaler in my pocket, ha!?